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The Best Things to Do in Lisbon


The capital of Portugal, Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today's Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that face the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city. Lisbon enchants travelers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy going charm that makes it a popular year round destination.

The great thing about visiting the capital of Portugal is that there is something to enjoy for anyone. Whether you love history or you enjoy shopping, whether you like museums or you enjoy a busy nightlife, or even if you like all of the above, you will find it in Lisbon. This city certainly has plenty to offer. How do you know what to see? Here are four things to do in Lisbon that should be at the top of your list.

 

National Tile Museum

It may sound a little odd that you would want to visit a museum to the history of ceramic tile, but do not be surprised. This museum is breathtaking in the beauty offered by decorative tiles. In fact, the National Tile Museum offers exhibits that date all the way back to the 15 th century. You will get a glimpse of the past and you will see it has it has changed to the present. Be sure to take public transportation to visit the National Tile Museum since it can be a bit too far to walk.

 

Oceanario De Lisboa

The Oceanario De Lisboa is a well known aquarium, which is located at the World EXPO next to the harbor. You will find that the aquarium includes a number of varieties of fish from all over the world as well as mammals like sea otters and fish like puffins and penguins. The Oceanario De Lisboa includes a learning center with plenty of modern media that will help you understand much more about sea life and the science of it. The museum is easily reachable through the cable car system in the city.

 

Cascais

If you want to enjoy a getaway to beautiful beaches, then Cascais is the place for you. It is a fishing village located about half an hour from Lisbon and it provides plenty to see and do. The beaches are fun for wading and sunbathing. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from during your stay. Additionally, there are resorts in the town that are favored by many well known celebrities. You may just enjoy a sighting during your visit. Do not forget to visit the Marechai Carmona Park as well.

 

Alfama

When you want to enjoy the true culture of the area, then be sure to visit Alfama. Located in the old town area, Alfama offers a step into the past. You will be able to enjoy quaint, narrow streets, small cafes and restaurants, and plenty of unique architecture. There is even a castle that you can view and enjoy during your stroll. Be sure to visit the panoramic terraces to get amazing views of the city and plan plenty of time to walk the streets and visit shops located in the area.

Lisbon has a very long history, but it also has a modern feel to it as well. When you visit, be sure to enjoy the attractions mentioned above so that you can have the very best experience possible while you visit the capital of Portugal.

 

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Best places to Visit in Lisbon


Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Rua das Janelas Verdes. Tuesday 2-6pm; Wednesday to Sunday 10am-6pm; Monday closed. Portugal's impressive national art collection, including 14-19th century European painting, artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures. Highlights include Durer's St Jerome, Hieronymus Bosch's Temptations of St Antony, Nuno Goncalves' Adoration of St Vincent, and 16th century Japanese paintings of Portuguese traders.

 

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Avenida de Berna, 45A (take the metro to Sao Sebastiao or Praca de Espanha Sations), 21 7823000. 10AM-5:45PM; closed Mon. Created from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian who longed to see all his treasures displayed in a museum. A nice assortment of Egyptian artifacts, along with paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat. The museum's gardens are worth a visit in and of themselves, as a little oasis in the middle of downtown Lisbon. 5EUR (permanent+temporary exhibition); half price for students under 25 with ID, holders of the European Youth Card (Euro26) and those aged 65 or over; free entry on Sunday and any other day for those under 12.

 

Fundacao Arpad Szenes / Vieira da Silva, Praca das Amoreiras, 56/58, +351 (21) 3880044/53 (fasvs@fasvs.pt, fax: 351 21 3880039). Mon-Sat 11AM-7PM, Sun 10AM-6PM. This museum is installed in the restored 18th-century former Royal Silk Factory. It permanent collection covers a wide time period of the works of 20th-century painters Arpad Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and regularly hosts exhibits by their contemporaries. Adults 2.50, students 1.25, kids under 14 free.

 

Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), Av. de Brasilia, Central Tejo, +351 21 002 81 30/90 (museudaelectricidade@edp.pt, fax: +351 21 002 81 04). Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. Free.

 

Museu da Agua (Water Museum). Entrance fee of 1.5 to 2.5, depending on age or discount cards you may use.

 

Lisbon metro. Most of the metro system is a free art gallery. You'll find art by contemporary artists inspired by the stations' surrounding area. Check the subway webpage for more details on this curiosity. The red line is the newest one and has the best pieces of art.

 

Museu do Azulejo. Museu Nacional do Azulejo is one of the most important national museums, for its singular collection, Azulejo (Tile), an artistic expression which differentiates Portuguese culture, and for the unique building where its installed, former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor.

 

Museu Coleccao Berardo, Centro Cultural de Belem. It is the Museum of Modern Art of Lisbon, with collection of international modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st century currently represents around 1000 works from more than 500 artists.

 

Museu da Marinha, Centro Cultural de Belem, 213620019. Open 10AM-5PM in winter, 10AM-6PM in summer. The interesting Maritime Museum is one of the most important in Europe, evoking Portugal's domination of the seas. Its colossal 17,000 items are installed in the west wing of Jeronimos Monastery, and include model ships from the Age of Discovery onward. The oldest exhibit is a wooden figure representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his voyage to India. Entry fee 4.

 

Pavilhao do Conhecimento. The Pavilion of Knowledge - Ciencia Viva is an interactive science and technology museum that aims to make science accessible to all, stimulating experimentation and exploration of the physical world.